20 October 2007
Chapter 1

Copyright© 2017 by Mustang

“Welcome to a special edition of National Sports Network’s OHL Friday Night Hockey on this Saturday afternoon. Hi, I’m your host Ken Morrison along again with play by play announcer Mark Bailey and colour commentator Jim Turner from Bellville Ontario, home to the Belleville Falcons.”

“The fans must want to see more from the Falcons like last night’s performance because this game is also sold out.”

“If you didn’t see our coverage last night of the Falcon’s wild battle against the league-leading Kingston Frontenacs, then you’ll be able to see part two this afternoon. Last night’s game was a record-setter for the Belleville Falcons.”

“I’ll ask Graham, our cameraman to pan in for a close-up view of this sheet of paper I’m holding. This is a copy of the official computerized game sheet that the off-ice officials submit to the League at the conclusion of each game. As the camera pans from top to bottom, can you notice anything unusual?”

“Each team’s players are listed by their number from lowest to highest. For Belleville, you notice that number 2, Justin Long had an assist and so did number 4, Rayous Grobenov and also number 6, PK Subban. In fact, as you look down the list, CHL history was made because every player on the Falcons roster in last night’s game had at least a point, including both goalies.”

“No team has ever accomplished that feat and likely no professional hockey team in North America or Europe has either or probably will repeat it. But I’ll draw your attention to number 27, Brad Hayward. And yes it is true, the figures have been verified. Brad Hayward scored a record setting thirteen points, nine, yes, nine goals, three hat tricks and four assists, leading the Belleville Falcons over the Kingston Frontenacs 13 to 7.”

“Mark and Jim, watching the replays of Brad Hayward’s historic night is enough to give any avid hockey fan chills of excitement. It reminds my of Darryl Sittler’s epic night with the Toronto Maple Leafs so many years ago.”

“Thank you, Ken. Yes, it was indeed a monumental game for Brad Hayward and the Belleville Falcons. As we see a replay of his goals and assists Jim, for our viewers, what do you make of this rookie wonderboy?”

“You’ve heard of the phrase, perfect timing. It couldn’t be truer for Brad Hayward than last night. You wouldn’t know that he spent the past several weeks recovering from cracked ribs suffered by a hard body check from Peter Kendall of the Frontenacs. So he was hungry to finally experience his first game action. Maybe his three-game stint as co-coach of the Bellville Falcons gave him an insight into team management that not too many players experience, contributed to his stellar play.”

“Perhaps the Falcons sitting in last place and playing the number one team in the League and rated first in the CHL was their inspiration to play such a commanding game. Or maybe that Brad Hayward has several seasons of experience playing with Mike Johnson and Scott Warren and against Jake Campbell during their Midget years.”

“Over the years in Junior or the Pros, a player will look back on one particular game as his best. It’ll be difficult for Harward to surpass his record-setting mark last night.”

“Mark, what will Kingston have to do to contain Hayward?”

“Coach Green knows one player doesn’t make a whole team but I’m sure he’s told his players to keep a closer eye on him. Only time will tell if Hayward’s game last night was an aberration or is he one of those players that can, game in and game out, put points on the board.”

The camera returned to Ken, “Before the players arrived at this afternoon’s game, I was able to interview Frank Stanton, Coach of the Belleville Falcons.”

“Coach, your team handily knocked off the League-leading Kingston Frontenacs. What do you contribute to such a lopsided victory?”

“Last night’s game was one of those freak games when most any shot taken on goal, resulted in a goal. It was a nightmare for our coaching staff because the players drifted away from the game plan and we ended up adjusting to the play of the game. Shoot the puck from anywhere I told my players. Our goaltending was inconsistent and our players didn’t support them.”

“Did you know your team set several League records last night?”

“I found out this morning that both our goalies got assists in the game and that every player had at least one point,” Frank said.

“We’d like to know your comments about Brad Hayward’s record-setting performance last night.”

“One game doesn’t make a player but we knew Brad has great potential, that’s why we traded to draft him. His dad, Dan Hayward played Junior hockey when he was a teen and passed on many words of wisdom and experience to him.”

“Brad is a good, two-way player who took advantage of his opportunities. Certainly more than any of us ever expected but in the long run, we gained two valuable points in the standings.”

“Thank you, Coach and good luck in tonight’s game. And Mark Adams is out of tonight’s game with a lower body injury. Well, Jim and Mark, what can we expect from Hayward in today’s game?”

“Hayward will certainly be a marked player by Kingston. But they’ll have to keep in mind, as they attempt to corral this budding star that they don’t lose focus of the remaining players or take needless penalties,” Jim stated.

“And fans are still anticipating a tangle between Hayward and Pete Kendall of Kingston for the dirty hit that put Hayward in the hospital,” Mark added.

Dan and his family took their seats behind the Falcons bench with Scott and Vicky, behind Peter’s bench.

Both coaches prepared their players for the game, stressing more defensive play. After the warm up, Brad picked up the milk carton to retrieve the practice pucks from the net. “We’ve got this Coach,” Jake reminded him. Brad and Pete met by the boards at center ice, shook hands and returned to their dressing rooms.

The Kingston starting lineup was announced then the spotlight shone to the Falcons end of the ice.

“And now, for the starting line up for your Belleville Falcons!” the announcer bellowed. “Starting in goal, number 30, Jason Bennett!” the fans cheered and clapped for each player mentioned, “On left defense, number 19 Mario Giroux, on right defense, number 4, Rayous Grobenov, on left wing, number 16, Jake Campbell, at center, number 10, Mike Johnson and on right wing, number 27, Brad Hayward!”

“It was good of Coach Stanton to recognize the hard work of Brad Hayward by letting his line start the game,” Mark mentioned to Jim over the loud cheers and applause for Brad and the others.

The anthem was sung and anticipation grew amongst the fans in the capacity-filled arena. The players stood, ready for the start of the game. The Ref dropped the puck and the game was on!

Mike won the face off passing the puck back to Mario. Immediately pressured by the Kingston winger, he carried the puck over the center line then passed back to Mike. He shot it to Brad as he crossed the blue line and already fans were standing in anticipation. He fired a shot on net hoping for a rebound to Jake but Manning easily stopped it and held the puck for a whistle.

Play resumed from the face off with Kingston carrying the play into Belleville’s end. Tyler Reese let go a good hard shot which Jason stopped and held for a face off. The next line of Falcons came over the board for a player change.

“Hey, at least we didn’t get scored on during the first shift!” Brad joked. He and his linemates rested, watching the play going back and forth. After five minutes there was no score and it was evident this would be a different game than last nights.

Kingston played hard against Belleville and the Falcon’s met every challenge. The high paced tempo was set by Kingston from the start of the game. Every bodycheck by a Falcons player crashed against the boards and rattled the glass to the enjoyment of the young fans seated at ice level.

Soon Nick Upton took a penalty for elbowing on his own hard hit to a Frontenac player. Kingston pressed hard, having the best power play in the League but Jason made several excellent stops. Inspired by their goalie’s strong play, Belleville kept their opponents chances to a minimum through the last seconds of the penalty.

As the penalty was ending and Nick stepped out of the penalty box, Brad and Jake were taking their shift on the ice. Logan passed the puck to Nick who’d snuck behind the Frontenac’s defense. He was joined by Brad and Jake. They made a nice three-way passing play into the Kingston zone keeping the puck from the two defenceman

Nick, Brad, and Jake started a cycle of puck possession to the left of Manning. As Nick was being checked, he passed the puck to Brad. He fed a quick pass to Jake and a quick wrister evaded Manning for the first goal of the game. The fans erupted as their team took the lead. The score 1 to 0.

“Jake scored! Jake scored!” Abby shrieked and she and Wendy hugged.

“It appears Brad Hayward and the Falcons are continuing where they left off from last night. They executed the cycle perfectly until one of them was open near the net,” Jim observed.

The Falcons congratulated each other then gave glove taps to their players on the bench. “Way to dig down low and cycle that puck!” Coach Stanton praised them.

“Falcon’s goal, his eighth of the season scored by number 16 Jake Campbell, assisted by number 27, Brad Hayward and number 29, Nick Upton, time 8:42!” was announced and the fans cheered.

The Ref dropped the puck to resume play with both teams battling hard. Kingston pressed for puck control in Belleville’s end and a minute later, tied the score.

“Jim, we just might end up with another high scoring game after all,” Mark commented.

Play continued on with the coaches matching line against line. Dale Corbett’s determined effort proved why he is a leader on the team and scored the next goal for the Falcons from Nick and Scott Warren. Brad had been involved in the last fourteen goals scored by the Falcons.

Brad, Mike, and Jake played well together along with the defensive pair of Mario and Rayous. They were a good match against the Kingston line of Ken Goodall, 23, right wing, Greg Jackson, 12, center, Matt Crawford, 16, left wing, Jamie Lawson, 17, right defense and Pete Kendall, 14, left defense.

They kept the Frontenacs hemmed in their zone as Mario and Rayous passed the puck back and forth and the forwards jockeyed for position by the net. Mario took another pass from Rayous and seeing an opening let go a hard slap shot. The puck rebounded off Manning’s pad to Brad and he quickly shot the loose puck into the net.

“Hayward scores, he does it again!” Mark shouted.

“Great shot, Mario!” Brad offered as they exchanged pats on the helmets. Brad asked for the puck from the linesman. He handed it to the trainer saying it was for his friend, Eric Chandler.

“Hurray! Brad scored!” Abby jumped up. The family stood, applauding and giving each other high fives. The men nearby liked it when the Falcons scored because the women in Dan’s family stood and admired in their short skirts or dresses and revealing cleavage.

“Falcons goal, his tenth of the season, scored by number 27, Brad Hayward. Assisted by number 19 Mario Giroux and number 4, Rayous Grobenov, time 12:47,” and the crowd cheered. The score 2 to 1.

The Frontenacs came off the ice frustrated that Hayward had scored another goal. Coach Green patted his players on the shoulder, encouraging them to keep up the pressure on Belleville, “Remember, Hayward, is just one player and not the whole team.”

On Brad’s next shift he could feel the renewed efforts to keep him off his game. The Ref had whistled the play dead and the Frontenac’s captain was standing at the half circle by the penalty box talking to the Ref. Brad wanted to know what they were discussing and skated to join them.

“Get the fuck out of here Hayward. I’m talking to the Ref,” Tyler Reeves grumbled.

“I’m allowed to listen in on the conversation,” he countered.

“Oh no, you can’t!” he replied unexpectedly pushing Brad. He lost his balance, falling backward onto the ice.

The Ref put his fingertips sharply to the palm of his hand to signal a penalty. “25, Kingston, two for unsportsmanlike conduct. Read the rule book, the Captain or Assistant of the opposing team is allowed to listen to our conversation,” the Ref loosely recited. Tyler Reeves reluctantly went to the penalty box.

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